Leads: David Ng

Most Exceptional Escapades in Science

Our high school conference. Twice a year, teams of scientists, lab experiments, keynote speakers, and 90 students or teachers.

Usually, twice a year, AMBL hosts a free full day science education conference. These are often similar in content where one hosts high school teachers, and the other hosts high school students. Here, we utilize our teaching facility to its fullest capacity – including keynote sessions for up to 100 participants, and a myriad of hands-on activities.

You can see previous examples, by clicking the year links:
2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008


Our next escapades will be for high school students, and is scheduled for May 26th, 2017. Programming is presented below although minor changes may still occur. Please click here to register.


General Information and Schedule For May 26th, 2017

This event showcases various scientific pursuits, including the opportunity for you to engage in hands-on activities, as well as interact with some of the most prominent scientists in the world. This year’s program is looking awesome! We’re going to explore a variety of SCIENCE themed pursuits. Note that targeted audience is Grade 10, 11, and 12 students, but we do on occasion have a few Grade 8s and 9s as well.


VENUE: Michael Smith Building. For directions, please click on this link.

Conference doors will open as early as 8:30am, with the program starting at 9:00am SHARP. See below for full schedule details.

08:30 – 09:00 Doors open.

09:00 – 09:10 WELCOME FROM Dr. David Ng
09:10 – 09:40 Dr. Christa Van Laerhoven (Exoplanets)
09:40 – 10:10 Dr. Brett Finlay (Microbiomes)
10:10 – 10:40 Linda Horianopoulos (Vaccine and drug targets)
10:50 – 11:00 Introduction to ESCAPADES rotations.
Rotation #1 – See descriptions of hand-on activities below.

12:00 – 12:45 LUNCH (on your own)

Rotation #2 – See descriptions of hand-on activities below.
Rotation #3 – See descriptions of hand-on activities below.

3:00 – 3:15 Close and draw prizes.
3:30PM END

HANDS-ON/INTERACTIVE ACTIVITIES for the 2017 Conference include:

I. THE BREADBOARDING SCRABBLE CHALLENGE: In which students will be provided a circuit board, components, LED displays, some guidance and then a task to create the highest score in a scrabble game. (Host: UBC Physics and Astronomy)

II. HUMAN GENOMIC DNA PREP: Students will perform a standard genomic DNA isolation from their own cheek cells. Other discussion around concepts of personal genomics will also be entertained (Host: GenomeBC).

III. IPCC debriefing: Students will learn about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (AR5). This document summarizes the current state of scientific research on climate change and is primarily used in official contexts for international climate change negotiation meetings. Dave Ng from AMBL will cover some of the key aspects in an interactive entertaining manner that will highlight the importance of this document. (Host: Dave Ng, Michael Smith Labs)


Dr. Brett Finlay
Brett Finlay, PhD. is a professor of microbiology at the University of British Columbia and a world leader in how bacterial infections work. He has been studying microbes for over thirty years and has published over four hundred and fifty articles. Also a founder of the biotech companies Inimex, Vedanta, and Microbiome Insights, Brett is Officer of the Order of Canada—the highest Canadian civilian recognition. His talk will focus on the topic of microbiomes.
(see https://finlaylab.msl.ubc.ca/ for more)

Linda Horianopoulos
Linda is a graduate student at the Michael Smith Laboratories working for Dr. Jim Kronstad. She will talk about Cryptococcus, a fungus that has had devastating effects in HIV patients, as well as folks in Vancouver Island. She will use this fungus as a way to broadly review the type of basic research used in exploring virulence factors that can help identify vaccine and drug targets. She will also do her presentation in the form of a “choose your own adventure.”

Dr. Christa Van Laerhoven
Christa is post-doctorate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of British Columbia. She is an expert in extra-solar planets in multi-planet systems and how their orbits change over long periods of time. She also studies the orbits of Kuiper Belt objects and what the structure of the Kuiper Belt means for how the solar system planets migrated.
(see http://teps.science.yorku.ca/cvanlaerhoven/ for more)

Dr. David Ng
David is a geneticist, science educator, part time writer, and faculty based at the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia. His lab is interested in various areas of science literacy, and is particularly engaged when the notions of science and art intersect. His talk will be a game show format summarization of the IPCC report. This is basically a widely cited document prepared for the world’s politicians to navigate the science of climate change.
(see http://thisishowitalkscience.tumblr.com for more)